Unlike the recent release of Apple’s iPod nano or Dell’s DJ Ditty, the Toshiba Gigabeat Audio player is a HDD-based audio player that comes with a variety of selections of storage space. The Gigabeat is fully loaded with functions, presented with a large 2.2-inch QVGA TFT display at the front, and looks pleasing to the eye as a portable handheld player.
The Toshiba Gigabeat F series is available in four different storage capacities, starting with 10 GB, up to 60 GB, to satisfy the demand of storage-hungry users. In addition, these players are colour-coded to differentiate their various storage capacities in the media. The 10 GB version is available in aqua blue, black and silver acrylic; 20 GB in either black or silver brushed aluminium; 40 GB in champagne brushed aluminium; and 60 GB in dark gray brushed aluminium. The external cover is quite hardy to prevent damage to the interior circuit board. The controls on the panel are touch sensitive, supported by five blue blacklit buttons located on the right profile of the media.
The Toshiba Gigabeat media player supports MP3, WAV and WMA digital audio formats. Unfortunately for some, lossless formats such as FLAC and ALAC codecs are not supported. In contrast to the sleek design, the technical effort of uploading compatible files into the Gigabeat player can be rather tedious. Users are advised to read through the detailed manuals before attempting any file transfer procedure. The Gigabeat player uses Toshiba’s very own Gigabeat Room managing software to perform the necessary required tasks. Furthermore, all supported audio formats will need to be converted to *.SAT format, the only recognisable extension by the Gigabeat player, in order for any music playback. In another word, the media will not work like storage space, for users to simply transfer file in and out of the player.
Users may like the idea that the Toshiba Gigabeat player is also a JPEG image file viewer, capable of display of up to 264,000 colours. Once again, the rigorous task uploading image file to the media proves once again very tedious. Finally, the audio quality was just sufficiently good enough to compensate the dreary method of uploading file, limited by software restrictions. The audio bass was found to be clear and pleasant, with impressive reproduction of mid and high notes. The Gigabeat player comes with 25 preset equalizer settings, and one slot for self-customised. With more than 16 hours of playback time, this exquisite media player is currently priced at US$250, quite a good value for money.
- Available in 4 storage sizes: 10, 20, 40, 60 GB
- 2.2-inch QVGA TFT LCD
- Supports: MP3, WMA, WAV and JPEG
- Built-in Li-ion batter, up to 16 hours playback
- Weight: 160g
- Dimensions: 63 x 106 x 16 (W x D x H) mm
While this player may not be as impressive as Apple’s iPod nano, but comparing to other HDD-based players, Toshiba Gigabeat F Series has all it takes to bring you the extra audio entertainment.